After months of baselessly touting hydroxychloroquine—an anti-malarial drug with extreme side effects—as a cure for the virus that's killed nearly 170 thousand Americans, another unconventional and potentially dangerous drug may be getting an endorsement from President Donald Trump.
According to Axios, Trump is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve an extract from the oleander flower to market as a cure for the virus. There is no prove that this is an effective treatment.
The extract is called oleandrin, and it's highly toxic, but has enjoyed endorsements from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and especially from the MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a fervent Trump supporter with financial stake in the company behind oleandrin.
Lindell told reporters that Trump was hoping the drug would be approved:
"[Trump] basically said: …'The FDA should be approving it.'"
Another Trump administration official told Axios:
"The involvement of the Secretary of HUD and MyPillow.com in pushing a dubious product at the highest levels should give Americans no comfort at night about their health and safety during a raging pandemic."
Trump's determination coupled with oleandrin's toxicity has many concerned.
The President already continues to go to absurd lengths promoting hydroxychloroquine, even using his Twitter account to amplify fringe doctors who swear by it, including one doctor who believes that demons have sex with humans in their sleep.
Trump's full-throated support of oleandrin could prove even more dangerous.